Call the Midwife


Sunday nights are not the same now we don’t have a weekly episode of Call the Midwife.  In case you never watched it the series was all about the life of a rookie nurse in the slums of post-war Poplar.  Nurse Jenifer Worth lived with the Community of St John the Divine (called the Midwives of St Raymond Nonnatus in the series); an Anglican order of nuns who had been working since 1848 to bring medical help to the poor.


They were founded back in 1848 with the public approval of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, accompanied Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War, laboured tirelessly through epidemics of cholera, typhoid, polio and tuberculosis, worked through two world wars and delivered babies in air-raid shelters, church crypts and underground stations. Eventually their mother house was located at St John’s House, Dunclutha Road, Hastings.  Some of you, I know, remember well St John’s Nursing Home and even had your babies delivered by members of the order. The Mother Superior of the Order also came, once, to talk to the Crowhurst Mothers’ Union.


Times changed for the nuns and their work is now based in Birmingham where they focus on issues of peace, reconciliation and pastoral care in its widest context. Meeting people’s pastoral needs remains a central Christian principle.  When we had the unexpected snow, earlier this year, which brought things to a halt, there were many acts of kindness.   I know of people who took stranded motorists in for night, opened impromptu cafes with hot drinks, or helped push cars out of the snow.


Christians live in the world, but we need to live distinctively as people of faith and love.  A true Christian saint is someone who makes it easier for others to believe in the love of Jesus Christ.


Father Michael

Posted By: valerie

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